written by, Erin White- Flow Fitness  Coach

Both styles are great to train the posterior chain but the conventional will recruit more muscle mass therefore giving you more power in the lift. 

  •  In both you will always start with a hinge position (sending the hips back first), keeping a neutral and locked lumbar spine, so there is no rounding throughout. Maintaining the neutral spine from neck to hips you will then reach for the bell. This is where the differentiating factor comes in. 
  • In the straight leg RDL you will see the hips sit higher and feel more tension and pull in the hamstrings. You will also see less bend in the knees. Back will be flat, shoulders down and back. You will feel this lift more in your lower back, spinal erectors, but if doing correctly and using your breathing to brace you will be able to work the lower back properly as well as focus on working more of the hamstrings and glutes. 
  • With the conventional, even with a KB, the setup will be similar with the shoulders down and back, neutral spine and the hinge first. At this point you will bend the knees until your hands reach the handle of the bell, sending your hips slightly down and back. To make clear this is NOT a squat, but your back angle and hips will be lower than they would be on the RDL. You will be using more of the posterior chain here to assist in the lift. From here power through the heels, stand tall and squeeze the glutes at the top. 

The lifts are meant to work differently and thrown into your training differently. But now you know each has a purpose in your programming. 

 Start Position: Conventional Kettlebell Dead-Lift

Start Position: Romanian Dead Lift (RDL)